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Can you tell me how to Cook Vietnamese Bun Rieu


Bun Rieu is a traditional Vietnamese soup recipe that was first made over two hundred years ago, it is a staple food of the Vietnamese people, ‘Bun’ refers to the thin rice noodles or vermicelli that are always present in the soup.

There are several varieties of Bun Rieu which all contain a meat and noodles but the most famous (Bun Rieu Cua) is a slightly sour tomato and crab meat noodle soup; in Vietnam various freshwater crabs are used, including whole blue crabs and the brown paddy crab found that are found in the rice paddy fields in Vietnam. It is served as both a starter or appetizer or a main meal.

Living in the West it is very difficult to be able to recreate this dish in an authentic manner and not all people here are happy or competent with cooking fresh crabs; however this recipe is a very acceptable replica of the authentic soup and yet is easy to make with ingredients that are easily available in our stores.

It is a delicious hot, sour and spicy soup that is perfect on cold winter’s evenings.

I have used Romaine lettuce in this recipe, if however you cannot get this you may substitute it with iceberg lettuce.


Serves four people as a main course.


8 spring onions (scallions) including green tops, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 ½ “piece of root ginger, grated

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 red chilli, de seeded and finely chopped

1 green chilli, de seeded and finely chopped
400g flaked crabmeat
6 tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

1 litre fish, chicken or vegetable stock
500g rice vermicelli, cooked
1/2 Romaine lettuce, finely shredded

150g bean sprouts

2 tablespoons tomato puree (paste)

2 tablespoon lemon juice

4 large mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thinly

4 Jalapenos, thinly sliced


Heat the oil in a large heavy pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions, garlic, chilies and ginger in the hot oil until soft. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the crabmeat, tomatoes, fish sauce, sugar, lemon juice and salt. Pour in the hot stock, bring to a boil, and then simmer for about 30 minutes.

You are now ready to serve the soup.

Take four large bowls and divide the cooked vermicelli equally between the dishes. Ladle the hot soup over the noodles, and top each bowl with a mixture of the shredded lettuce, Jalapenos and the bean sprouts.

Fried tofu can also be added to this soup to make it a more substantial meal.